Social Question

Frenchfry's avatar

Would you give a dollar to a homeless guy?

Asked by Frenchfry (7584points) July 30th, 2010

Would you walk on by, or do you have think that is wrong?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

48 Answers

john65pennington's avatar

My wife has always told me to never pass by a homeless person, without giving them something. she states they may be an angel in disguise and testing you. although i may question her theory here, what do i do? loose change or a dollar is not going to break me and why take the chance that my wife is not correct?

Luffle's avatar

No. I’d rather give them something to eat. There’s too many people that take advantage of sympathy.

ucme's avatar

I don’t have a dollar. I may give them a pound if I feel the desire to. If not, well there’s always the other guy.

truecomedian's avatar

I think that would be a great investment.

truecomedian's avatar

@john65pennington
Yes do that, your wife is right, so much for the wad for the strip club.

BoBo1946's avatar

Always…. that person could be me! By the laws of chance, we are who we are! I could have been born in Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. Also, could have been a dog. if so, would like to be my dog…Sadie gets special treatment! We came out of the womb and here we are….we had NO input to where and to whom we would be.

SuperMouse's avatar

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. I have no hard and fast rule as to when I do and when I don’t.

Facade's avatar

Why would I not do it? Homeless people obviously need money, and if they’re scamming me, that’s on them.

meagan's avatar

I also believe that you should give them food, rather than money. I’ve seen too many episodes of Intervention to know better.

@Facade You wouldn’t want a homeless crack addict buying crack with your dollar, would you? :P

JilltheTooth's avatar

Yesterday, outside of the supermarket, a poorly dressed man by that I mean poorly, as in literally very poor asked me for a dollar for the bus. I gave him a dollar and watched as he ran for and got on the bus! I was delighted that I had helped, then I wished I’d given him a five. :-(

Facade's avatar

@meagan All I care about is doing the right thing– helping out another person. What they do with what I give them is their choice.

Austinlad's avatar

Yes. People have told me not to do this, because the money will “probably” go for booze or drugs. Maybe, but I consider this irrelevant. People on the street need the money a lot more than I do, whatever they use it for.

I have a good friend, an artist, who buys homeless people’s signs (for a maximum of $20). He considers this a win-win. The person earns a decent sum for his/her creativity, and my friend gets to engage the person in conversation with him/her which reinforces his belief that street people are human beings with needs he can hardly imagine. He also uses their signs in his art.

truecomedian's avatar

@Austinlad
They say “give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime” Your friend is taking away their fishing poles. Guess they can find a way to make a new sign from part of their house and a Sharpie they jacked from the liquor store.

meagan's avatar

@truecomedian You know, there was an article in the newspaper I subscribe to about how a lot of the “homeless people” are people who have homes, and are just trying to make some money. Depending on how busy the street is, and how generous people are – these people make a killing.

truecomedian's avatar

@meagan
Yes it is rumored that there are some that do work a spot, then get in their Buick and drive home. When I was homeless I never begged, I found jobs and worked. I might end up homeless again, maybe I’ll practice my sign making skills now, just in case.

Cruiser's avatar

Yes…every time no questions asked.

Austinlad's avatar

@truecomedian. You’re certainly to entitled to your view, but mine is less cynical. “They say’s” are often said by people who can eat all the fish they want and don’t need a fishing pole. I know there are plenty of scammers out there, but that doesn’t stop me from giving a buck or two on the chance the person really needs it.

Austinlad's avatar

@BoBo1946—great answer!!! There but for the grace of God…

Your_Majesty's avatar

Depends. Many homeless people in my country just don’t want to work to sustain themselves. They’re healthy and capable enough to work but they prefer to ask for sympathy and money from others. So,to answer your question if I see really incapable and ill people then I’ll give as much money as I could offer at that particular time.

misstrikcy's avatar

I’m not against giving money to beggars at all. I’ve bought a few Macdonalds for them too – which they have always been very grateful for..
The homeless in my town have been around for a while, and I know they have way less than me. No skin off my nose to share a bit. Lets face it if I kept the money it would only go on rubbish like food, sweets and pop… I’m probably doing myself a favour.

CherrySempai's avatar

I carry around $5 giftcards just for this reason. I don’t trust people I don’t know to use the money wisely, so I give giftcards to food places.

Also, when I go out to eat with friends, we find homeless people to give our leftovers to. (:

Facade's avatar

@CherrySempai That’s the best idea I’ve heard concerning this. Good for you!

LuckyGuy's avatar

I am assuming you mean a homelss person in the US.
This will be an unpopular answer but needs to be said. In my community there are so many aid organizations, so many churches, so many homeless shelters, so many disability payments and programs, anyone begging on the street is doing it because they chose to or were kicked out of a program for bad behavior or are just looking for cash that can be spent on unapproved items.
I contribute a lot of taxes to the aid organizations already. The person is getting EBT cards paid by me. The section 8 housing is paid by me. The social security SSI likewise.
It’s enough.
That said, I do help anyone stuck on the side of the road and I give a considerable amount to a charity with goals I support.
Do something positive if you can. Offer a job at $10 per hour and see if the person takes you up on it.

downtide's avatar

I would rather give them something to eat, then I can be sure they’re not spending the money on drugs.

Blackberry's avatar

I would give two dollars.

LuckyGuy's avatar

To the people who said “Yes”. Where/when do you stop? Do you give to every one you see every time? Who pays for your health care?
Have you been to India? If you give to one beggar, within seconds you are inundated by scores more and are often pick-pocketed. The poorest homeless person in the US has a better safety net and support structure.than some of the workers in India.

misstrikcy's avatar

@worriedguy You made some good points.

I went to India many years ago – and only came across 2 types of beggers. The kids on the trains – they are lovely but relentless. Fortunately I was advised before I went to stock up on pens and rubbers and to hand these over instead of cash. That was a great idea!
Wasn’t warned about the next lot though, the adults with rotting limbs that they shove in your face, and wont go away (gag central), especially if you are stuck on a train. Ew!

But those folk look a lot worse off than any of the homeless i’ve ever seen in ‘blighty.’

Facade's avatar

@worriedguy I give every time I see a homeless person and if I have cash. I also tear up every time I see a homeless person (I don’t see them that often). It breaks my heart to know someone is living like that when I have never wanted for anything. I do not see any harm in giving.
And to answer your questions, even though I don’t see the relevance:
I don’t stop. If I have extra, I give. My mother taught me that.
My father’s health insurance pays for my healthcare. Apparently, I’m one of the lucky ones.
I have not been to India. If giving to poor Indians was my goal, I would most likely opt to give to a charity that specifically helps out in that area rather than go there and hand out money myself.

misstrikcy's avatar

@Facade You are good. Probably best not to go to India though if you are very sensitive. You could be in tears all day, every day.
No lie, I have never ever seen things so bad as when I was in India.. it shocked me to my core.
I think the charity option you suggested is really the best option if we want to try and affect the poverty in India.

Likeradar's avatar

The people who are saying yes- Do you live in major US cities? I would probably go through $10 just commuting to work every day if I gave a dollar to every homeless person I saw.

I almost never give money to homeless people. I occasionally give food or water bottles and I make small (due to my budget, not due to willingness to contribute) monthly donations to a few select organizations.

DominicX's avatar

I agree with @Facade. I don’t care what they do with the money; I have no way of knowing what they’ll do. If they want to buy booze, whatever makes them happy. I’ve only had positive reactions from people I gave money to on the street. It’s just a nice thing to do in passing. Serious help comes from large donations to charities and social change. I don’t see anything wrong with giving a dollar here and there to someone on the street.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

i don’t trust that a homeless man would spend it usefully. i would buy them some food or let them stay at my house for a while, help them look for a job.

Berserker's avatar

Sometimes yes, sometimes no, depends if I got it. I might give them more, or maybe less. And I don’t care what they do with it, it’s their life, and not for me to judge or decide what they should or should not do with it. I give them my change, and me doing so does not come with some kinda condition.
It’s bad enough that by giving small change to some poor homeless dude, that after I go back to my warm place with all my food and things and feel good about myself.

truecomedian's avatar

Most people that answered said they would help, but most people won’t give you a dime. The percentage is less than half in the real world. I begged once when I was desperate to buy a train ticket to bounce out of town. Only one out of 30 people gave me anything. Luckily, I befriended a musician who was playing at a bar where I was begging, they “passed the hat” and I got the money I needed and then some. To really know what it’s like to be down and out carries a social stigma that is looked down upon. Beer is good for you.

Berserker's avatar

Plenty of people give their small change to the homeless, and I’ve seen someone give an entire burger to this homeless dude we nicknamed Chuck the Hunchback. It happens.

Jeruba's avatar

I have, many times. Sometimes a five. Once in a while a twenty. Often nothing.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Sometimes yes and sometimes no. I tend not to share when they’re on the corners. Not as a rule or anything. Just I can’t tell if they actually need it or not. I’ve seen people who don’t need it. If they explain what they need it for, I’ll more than likely do it. Last week, I think it was, I gave a guy who was short a few dollars to get a prescription. He had crutches and had walked from a nearby hospital. It’s a case by case basis thing with me.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t ever speculate on what they need it for or try to judge how they’ll spend it. Most often for me the motivation to donate is something intuitive, a response to some unanalyzed cue, an impulse. When they offer a story, sometimes I believe it and sometimes I don’t. I know I have a kneejerk response to apparent sincerity, but I also know that a good con artist can feign sincerity more easily than I can express it for real.

Politeness, however. Politeness counts with me. Not a gushing God-bless-you-God-love-you or obsequious begging but genuine-sounding courtesy. That’s so rare these days that I tend to want to reward it no matter where I find it.

How sad, though, that only the street panhandlers seem to remember the manners their grannies taught them.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

know what’s really sad is i was watching a show called what would you do. they had a fake homeless guy (actor) go in the streets and pretend to collapse. it was 40 something minutes before a passerby tried to help. the passerby had no phone and it took another 26 minutes before another passerby to called 911. i’m deeply ashamed to be human, part of the people that just walked past.

SVTSuzie's avatar

You are joking, aren’t you? Heck YES. I give them $5.00.( when I have it).

misstrikcy's avatar

@daytonamisticrip huh..! You’d let a homeless guy you dont trust stay at your house..??
Wouldn’t you worry about waking up and finding things ‘missing’ (as well as the homeless guy)?

Likeradar's avatar

@misstrikcy I’m not sure why anyone would let any complete stranger stay at their house.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Likeradar We had a foreign exchange person through church stay with us and housed a couple of kids participating in the school’s choir competition. None of them were homeless, but we knew nothing about them before they showed up.

Likeradar's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I assume they’d been vetted by a 3rd party, such as the church and schools? That’s different than a complete stranger off the street.

Aster's avatar

$3 – $5 or a cheeseburger.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Likeradar Yes, I would assume so. But they fit the description of complete strangers we let stay in the house.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

@misstrikcy The reason I’d trust homeless stranger to stay at my house is because when i look into someone’s eyes i can tell a lot about them. I can tell if their trustworthy or not. I would keep a watchful eye and lock up my most important things.

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